Monday, November 30, 2020

Just Be Present


Christmas is upon us. This year has been one of chaos at every turn it seems. Moms have had to learn to school at home, deal with a virus that strikes fear into even the bravest, wonder what next year will look like, and NOW it’s time for the holidays. 

Many of us have ideas in our minds of what the holidays should look like. If you’re like me there is a list. A list of all the items that you just HAVE to get taken care of for it to be THE picture perfect holiday. Mama, please hear me. There’s no such thing. Food is going to get burned. Children are going to have their tired tantrums that come.  Gifts aren’t going to get there on time due to no fault of your own. Things are not going to go as you always want them to. That. Is. Okay!

Hear me, your family needs you to be present. As moms, we tend to hold all of these ideals of what we think it should look like and become buried under the weight of our own expectations. These expectations of ours can make us feel as if we are smothering and cause us to completely miss the one thing our family truly needs, us. 

Before the hustle and bustle gets to you, let’s stop and pray. Stop and remind yourself to give grace to someone it can be hard to give it to, yourself. Remember to breathe. Yes, a list and expectations are great. However, don’t let them take over. It’s okay if it looks different this year. You be present in the moment. Stop, drink your coffee, tea, or cocoa and be present. 

1 Peter 5:7 says, “ Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

I want to encourage you, start off the day with some time for prayer, reflection, and getting yourself focused. It will make a huge difference. Ask Him for strength for the must do’s and the wisdom to know what you can let go of. Help your children experience this holiday season with a mom that is in the moment, breathing, and soaking it up. 

You are loved. You are enough. You are a precious lady and amazing mother. Do not ever forget that. 

If you’d like prayer, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Talk with someone close to you or you can always message me. I’m praying for you. You got this Mama!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Holy Land Illustrated Bible Review and GIVEAWAY!!


I'm super excited to share with you another great Bible product that you're going to want to pay attention to! This product was sent to me for review and I'm so honored to get to pass it on to you. 

I love using a variety of Bible's in studying when I'm preparing for a message. It helps me to get a variety of perspectives, notes, and insight into the topic. This is a GREAT addition to my study! 

The new Bible I want to share with you is the Holy Land Illustrated Bible in the Christian Standard Version.

I am a believer for sure. I've read the Bible my entire life and I believe what it says. However, there's something unique and faith-building when you can actually SEE the places you're talking about. Lazarus' tomb? It's in there! A picture of the mountain believed to be where Moses met God? YEP! 

This bible contains a variety of helps such as:

  • 1200 plus maps, illustrations, and images of people, places, and different artifacts in scripture
  • Digging Deeper sections to help you dive into the story even more to see why it's important
  • Over 270 articles that share insight into the world and the culture when the Bible was written
  • Intros for the books of the Bible to help you know the author, time and setting of the book when it was written
Take a quick look at this video below to see an inside view of the Holy Land Illustrated Bible:

This bible was published and is offered by Lifeway Christian Resources. It is a fantastic gift or addition to the library of those who want to be immersed visually into the Word. Making the Word come alive can help you to understand, retain, and grow in your faith. 

The bible comes in variety of versions including the hard back like I received and also leathertouch and genuine leather. You can take a look at purchasing the Bible by clicking here.

My thoughts:

I remember looking through the Bible and seeing the picture of Lazarus's tomb. I was honestly overwhelmed. I know it's there. I know it happened. SEEING it was a totally new experience. I have loved diving into the different articles, digging deeper sections and learning even more. I am definitely a visual learner so this is very helpful to have all of it in one book. Instead of having to go to multiple sources, this provides a lot of insight and assistance all in one place. 

I would recommend this as a gift for those in your life who want to dive deeper into the Word, to see what they're reading about, and who really love learning the history and culture. It's also a great purchase for yourself if that describes you! 

NOW, for more exciting news!!! I am honored to be able to give away this bible! You must be 18 years or older to enter and live in the United States!

Be sure to enter to win below and comment what your favorite study bible is. 

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Friday, April 17, 2020

Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible Review & GIVEAWAY! (Sponsored Post)

Life Essentials Bible Review

Having a solid study bible on hand is critical to diving deeper in the scripture. There are many options out there that are great, but I want to present you a new option that I hope you enjoy! I was recently asked to review the Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible by Gene A. Getz. Dr. Getz is a renowned teacher of the Bible and provides an in depth look at the guiding principles and wisdom throughout the entire book. If you'd like to hear from Dr. Getz for yourself, here's a video of how he came about to develop this study bible that was released on March 15, 2020. Take a look below at all the wonderful features of this study bible and make sure to check out the giveaway down at the bottom of the post! 

What's in the Bible?

This study bible takes an interactive approach to diving deeper into God's word. Throughout the bible, you will find sections called Principles. Each of these are a look deeper into the specific life lesson that God is sharing in that specific passage of scripture. Each principle has notes and questions, but also a scannable QR code for you to interact with that specific passage. The QR code will let you to a video where Dr. Getz is actually teaching that principle. It is a great way to read the Word, hear the Word, and study it all at the same time. For some of us, video or audio make it easier to grasp the concept you're trying to understand. For others, reading it is the best way. This bible offers multiple ways for you to study the scriptures deeper than you may have before. There's also questions in the principles to help you study in your own life or to have for a small group study if you're working with others. 

There are over 1500 different videos that can be used in this study bible for you to interact with. They vary in length, depending on the topic at hand. The reasoning behind putting these principles in the way they are is to help us all apply the scripture to our life every day. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand some of the scriptures and how it actually applies to us. Dr. Getz has come alongside you to have a bible teacher in your home while you study. I personally like to study a variety of bible versions at one time in my own devotion time. I like to have several open to the same passage to help me compare each and all the notes that are provided. It has helped tremendously having the video teaching as well. If you want to watch a video, you can. If you prefer to study the questions and read for yourself, you do that as well. 

Each principle is highlighted in a blue section on the page that is near the scripture it is referring too. You can see that in the picture below.

Another very cool feature to these principles is that while you're reading, there are sections that refer back to a previous principle mentioned before. For example, while reading in Luke chapter 19 verse 45-47, there are blue notes to refer you back to a principle in Isaiah. You can see how the scripture is all woven together and how each lesson is shown throughout the word itself. 

Other Features:

There are many other features of this study bible that include: 
  • Two-color design in the interior
  • Concordonce
  • Full color maps
  • Commentary
  • Questions to help study deeper
  • Nice sized font
  • Introduction page to each book
  • Introduction to the principles in that book
  • Smyth sewn binding
  • Footnotes
  • Christian Standard Version

What is Christian Standard Version or CSV?

I know there are of us that prefer King James over anything else. I find myself leaning more towards ESV these days as it seems the closest to the King James but in easier to understand English. However, the CSB is a great option as well for those who are new believers or those who need help understanding. It is easy to read and understand for all ages. The CSB was created to stay faithful to the original writings of scripture while giving you clarity at the same time. However, I would never tell you which version you should choose to go with. I highly suggest you research the options out there and choose the one you feel the most confident in. 

You need to understand what you're reading as well as have the closest thing to the original as you possibly can. 

Now for some fun!

I have been given the amazing opportunity to offer one of these bibles to YOU in a giveaway below! Be sure to click the Rafflecopter link for entry and comment below what your favorite version of the bible is. Do you have a study bible at home already? 

Thank you for stopping in to hang out with me and talk about a new study option out there to help you grow in your walk with Christ. Be blessed! 

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Thankful Thursday

920. I'm very thankful for an amazing group of students I get to hang out with every single week. They push me to be on my toes, to laugh, and to enjoy life.

921. I'm thankful for my husband. This week we will celebrate 16 years of marriage. God has blessed us with an amazing life together and I can't wait to see what our future holds.

922. I'm thankful that he loves my team too. Course, when you marry a girl from Bama, you don't really have a choice. Or, at least, that is what he's said.

923. I'm thankful for the cooler weather we have been having. Finally feels like the holiday season here in the south.

924. I'm thankful for friends God has placed in my life. Those who never cease to push me to get past myself. Those who do not let me tap out but continue to encourage, correct, and sharpen me.

925. I'm thankful for shopping days with the fams

926. I'm thankful for homeschooling. It is tough, but it is so worth it.

927. I'm thankful for the amazing growth in our youth ministry. This is truly God at work and I get a front row view of it every day.

928. I'm thankful for peppermint mocha coffee

929. I'm thankful for exciting adventures and God experiences this week as we head to our annual youth conference.

What are you thankful for today?

Amber Vale Holiday Home Sampler Review and GIVEAWY!

**I received the candle sampler free in return for my review of the product. All of the thoughts posted are mine**

 If you've been in my home at all, you know I love all the things that make your home smell amazing. Whether it is the citrusy type scents in the summer or the warm peppermint, cranberry type in the winter, candles are a part of our daily lives here.

I was super excited when I received the Amber Vale Home Holiday Sampler set to review and share with you all today. The three 4 oz. unique scents are just exactly what you'd think of when you think of the holiday season. These beautiful candles are a great accent to any room during Thanksgiving, Christmas or any time around the holidays. They spark memories of holidays gone by while you're enjoying the season with friends and family,

The candles arrived neatly packed and protected to my home several days ago. They feature beautiful brown, glass jars and a cute label printed on the side to let you know what scent each one is.

There's also a little note in the box sharing how to use a wood wick candle. As I've never used those type before, that was much appreciated!

There are three different scents in the holiday sampler. They include:
  • Gathering - Orange and clove
  • Tennessee Christmas - Evergreen Deciduous
  • With Extra Whip - Peppermint Hot Chocolate
I have to say, Gathering is probably my favorite. The warm clove and orange scent together just screams holidays to me. My husband and son loved the With Extra Whip candle the best. While I am usually not an evergreen gal, this one was actually quite nice. It wasn't overpowering as some of those scents can be. 

The candle set retails for $20 and is a great gift idea for friends or family. It is also a fantastic addition to your home as you're hosting guests this holiday season.

For those who want cleaner burning candles, you're going to love these. The natural blend of soy and coconut make you feel better about what you're using in your home. The wooden wick adds that unique "crackle" effect as it burns, giving you the feeling of a fireplace without the hassle. These candles are also free from any phtalates as well. 

Amber Vale Home also has several other adorable candle products to choose from for all your gift giving needs this year. Be sure you stop by their site and take a look at the selection. 

A HUGE thanks to Amber Vale for sending me the sampler, AND... Offering one to give away to my readers!! Be sure to click on the rafflecopter entry form below to enter and share this giveaway with others.

**You must be 18 years or older to enter. You must reside in the United States to be eligible to win**

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

New Review and GIVEAWAY: Tony Evans Study Bible

**I was sent a copy of the Tony Evans Study Bible for my honest thoughts and review. All thoughts expressed are mine**

As we approach the holiday season, perhaps you're looking for a way to boost your faith or a gift for someone in your life who needs encouragement. Whatever your situation is, diving into the Word of God can help you find peace, wisdom, guidance, and encouragement for all stages of life.

As a youth pastor I encourage my students to spend time every day soaking up what God has to say. Whether you have five minutes to meditate on a verse or hours to read chapters and books, spending time in the Word daily is a fantastic way to grow in your walk. You can see the hear of God shining through on each page. He loves you. He wants a relationship with you. He provides a way out for you. He gave the ultimate sacrifice to be with you.

Spending time in the Word and studying what God has to say is exactly what the Tony Evans Study Bible helps you do. This beautifully bound Black/brown Leathertouch bible works perfectly as a gift to others or as an addition to your study library.

Who is Tony Evans?
Tony Evans is the lead pastor at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. He has been preaching the gospel for over 50 years and has a passion for studying the Word. He wants to help others dive into what the Bible says and he does it with this version.

What Does The Bible Have?
The bible is printed in CSV, Christian Standard Version, and offers a variety of study helps. Each page has study notes that dive into the scriptures. Tony Evans shares his exegesis on the scriptures so that you can better understand what is being said.

Throughout the study bible you'll find:

  1. Kingdom Living Lessons - these are simply practical ways to live your life the way God intended, according to what He says. These lessons cover aspects such as community, family, personal growth, and the church.
  2. Video Devotionals - Throughout the bible you'll find QR codes that you can scan to go deeper into the study. 
  3. Q & A - Tony Evans provides answers to a slew of different questions about life, including some he has had himself about ministry and life in general
  4. Articles - Evans also shares different articles to inspire you as you dive into studying the Word deeper.
  5. Cross references in the side margins - more details about the passage you're reading and where you can find it mentioned again
  6. Application questions
  7. Hope words
  8. Maps
  9. Reading plan
  10. And much more!
This is a great gift to give to a friend or family member this holiday season, or just to help you in growing in your walk with God. You can use the multiple study aids to help answer questions, share the Word with others, and apply the Word practically to your life. 

Reading the bible is something that is highly important in your walk with Christ. The bible, the Word of God, is the only weapon you're given in the Armor of God we put on daily. It is your weapon against the enemy. It is your help in times of trouble. It gives you hope, wisdom, encouragement, and peace when the world around you is chaos. I highly encourage you to spend time daily learning more about the God we serve. 

Whether you are considering this as a gift for someone or yourself, this is a addition to any study bible library. It is a great way to go deep and to learn more about what God wants to say to you. 

I am very thankful for the copy I received and NOW have the opportunity to give one away to one of my readers! Simply enter the contest below! 

**Entries must be in the United States only. Must be 18 to enter**

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Menu Plan Monday: Week of November 4th

Welcome to Menu Planning Monday!

How was your week? Did you stick to the plan you made?

As for us, we did for the most part.  We enjoyed a lovely time for great-grandmother's 89th birthday this weekend, and we helped my parents move some items to their new home.

This week we are on a semi-normal schedule. I'm working from home today instead of the church due to a plumbing issue. Those are always fun right? BUT GOD is working things out for us so it is a blessing in disguise!

Back to menu planning! This week we will have praise and worship practice, church and assisting with any moving my parents may need.

So here's what our menu is going to look like for the week!

Monday - Chicken Alfredo
Tuesday - Meatloaf and veggies
Wednesday - Youth group at church - leftovers
Thursday - Son will make dinner - I have him in charge of supper one night each week. He will come up with his shopping list and plan.
Friday - Possible date night with friends
Saturday - Grill Burgers and hot dogs
Sunday - Pork chops on grill

So what does your week look like? Hope it's a fantastic one! Have any great recipes you want to share?